Ben Miller's Cool Sports Stories For Kids is a hilarious collection of semi-fake stories about athletes that are absolutely not for kids. When we got a copy of the zine in the office, we crowded around it like we'd discovered a new species of animal. After we laughed for a good 30 minutes, we decided we would hit up Miller for our 20 Questions series to see what he was all about. Turns out, his job somehow involves fishing, and somehow that's boring? Who knows. There's a lot of good stories below, read on:
Tell us about the last great meal you had:
I ate a can of chili last week. Later I found out that it was expired by two years.
First movie you saw in a theater:
I can't remember. But I saw American Beauty in high school. I asked out my friend's ex-girlfriend on the phone. Apparently he was at her house at the time. After I asked her to the movie, she said, "Hey, Jonathan's here" then put him on the phone. It was really awkward.
An experience you'll never forget:
When I was five years old during a moment of silence in church I yelled "butthole" real loud.
Music you loved as a teenager:
'90s college radio. My sister DJ'ed at a college radio station when she was in high school. I used to listen to the shows on the radio and tape them on a cassette. I was like 9 or 10 or 11. I grew out my hair and some redneck kid in my class started calling me sheepdog because of it. It's hard to calculate how big of an impact that music had on me.
First book you remember being really affected by:
Skim by Mariko Tamaki. This is a graphic novel that I think is intended for Japanese teenage girls. I had read just a couple of graphic novels at the time and decided to grab it for some reason. Anyway, this book is strange and really well done and it got me interested in graphic storytelling.
How do you start each morning:
I drink a bunch of coffee and write and try to come up with ideas for an hour.
Twitter. Hit me up: @kfctacobell
What's your computer desktop/phone lockup screen?
A hot air balloon that says Samsung on it. I'm sorry.
Your favorite personal item of clothing:
Hunting cap lined with rabbit fur. I know it's wrong to buy fur but I got it secondhand. That's not as bad, right?
What do you carry with you every day?
A fishing license. I have to go fishing for my job sometimes. I hate it. It's so boring.
Favorite place to eat:
My apartment. I live with two friends who are Asian American and there's always a hot pot going or homemade spring rolls or a buttload of seafood.
Place you wish everyone could visit:
I'm taking Amtrak to LA from Philly in a couple months, but the long way. Through the Rocky Mountains and like up in Montana and North Dakota then down the coast through Washington and Oregon. I haven't done it yet, but I'm already recommending it.
Person in your field whose career/life/work you admire:
I like going to comics and zine festivals. I always end up being surprised by someone really talented that I'd never heard of.
Who did you learn the most from?
My mom told me, "If there's nothing you're passionate about then be passionate about finding a passion." Nobody wants to hear their mom use the word "passion." I really wish her word choice was different. But it was great advice and I've learned a lot from her.
Favorite thing about the place you live:
I grew up out in the country so I love being in a big city (Philly).
Favorite time of day and why:
Lunch time. Sometimes I eat my lunch before 10:30 because I can't wait.
Favorite thing to work with:
What is the last thing you made?
I'm working on a little animated project. I made some promotional drawings for that yesterday. It's called E Coli High and Episode 1 is ready to drop any day now -@EColiHigh